Seminole Sprint Puts the FUN back in Fundraising
In 2011, Spout Springs School of Enrichment in Flowery Branch, Georgia took the first step towards building a healthier environment for its students and staff by joining the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program. Spout Springs utilized the Healthy School Program Framework to achieve excellence and in just three short years, has been recognized with the National Healthy School’s Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards!
By following the Healthy Schools Program Framework, Spout Springs was well-prepared for the USDA Smart Snacks in School standards that went into effect in July 2014, which applied to food and beverages sold outside of the school meals program, including in-school fundraisers. “We don’t allow outside food in our school. I’ve had more parents thank me than criticize it,” said Tom Adam, physical education teacher and Alliance Ambassador at Spout Springs. “We are a school and kids spend a lot of time here – more time than at home at lot of days – and our job is to educate them on healthy choices. We all want to help our kids reach their hopes and dreams. What better way to do that than ensure they’re healthy.”
Raising funds, promoting fitness
For the past few years, Spout Springs traded food-based fundraisers for its annual Seminole Sprint, a fun run organized by the Parent Teacher Organization, which raised more than $40,000 in one day to benefit the school!
While the USDA allows states to exempt a certain number of school-sponsored fundraisers from Smart Snack standards, Adam believes it’s important to send a consistent message to students that healthy behaviors don’t stop when they leave the cafeteria or the school campus.
The Hall County community agrees with him. The Seminole Sprint has grown in popularity (and in fundraising!) each year that the school has hosted it. That’s due, in part, to the promotion of the event. Adam and his staff hold a pep rally, provide t-shirts to participants, and even hire a DJ to pump up the excitement. Parents and community members are invited to support the students, cheering them on and reinforcing that it’s fun to be fit.
Create a healthy fundraiser at your school
Follow Adam’s tips to get started:
- Review the USDA’s guidance on Smart Snacks in School fundraisers.
- Empower your Parent Teacher Organization or School Wellness Council to come up with creative ideas to raise money while setting a healthy example. Check out the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s alternative fundraising ideas.
- Get the word out: Invite the community, heavily promote the event, and encourage your staff to get involved.
Your school can also work towards building a healthier environment for you students by joining the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program. Sign up now!